Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Pensacola - Florida at long last

This morning started with a short ride to the ferry and a ferry ride from Dauphin Island to Fort Morgan, Alabama. We biked along the gulf coast of Alabama initially on a newly paved, smooth, flat road with......our first tailwind in a very, very long time. We then entered a bike lane area and had pretty good bike lanes for most of the day. It made the day truly enjoyable.

We passed lots of high rise condos along the coast, crossed over into Florida, then entered the outskirts of Pensacola and pedaled through the city to the other side. There were a couple of rollinghills in Pensacola, but nothing to lose sleep over. Stopped at a bike shop and saw nice stuff, but didn't need any of it so didn't drop a dime there. They were happy to see us all, though, and hear our stories.

Today was a big day for Patty. She is afraid of bicycling over high bridges. Today she and I pedaled together over three of them. I tried to stay between her and the railing and we sang "99 bottles of beer on the wall..........." all the way over each. Actually we started the first bridge with "Mary had a little lamb" then went to "Row, row, row your boat" but decided neither was cerebral enough. By the end of the third bridge we were down to 57 bottles of beer on the wall. Patty got a well deserved standing cheer from the gang at the lunch stop. She and I celebrated with Midnight truffle blizzards at the Dairy Queen across the road from the hotel. The DQ overlooks a very, very long motor vehicle bridge over the bay. We figure that if we have to bicycle that bridge we'll have to restock the beer supply!

At the hotel tonight there is a reunion of sailors who served on the U.S.S. Intrepid. They were lots of fun while we were checking in. One of them in a scooter challenged us to a downhill race, but then decided it wouldn't be fair to us. Some of them are my dad's age -- not too many of them left.

Bike stats: 69.97 miles; 4 hrs. 44 minutes riding time; 1,684 total trip miles.

Food stats: embarrassing. Shrimp basket (fried shrimp, hush puppies, cole slaw) for lunch yesterday. Dinner was steamed broccoli and fries. Breakfast this morning was some scrambled eggs and a banana. Lunch was a shrimp basket (fried shrimp, hush puppies, cole slaw, and fries, and a taste of fried green tomatoes). Post-ride protein loading was the midnight truffle blizzard at DQ. Think I'll just have salad tonight!

So, on to Crestview tomorrow skirting north of Pensacola Bay and Eglin Air Force Base. We won't see any more large bodies of water until our last day when we ride to the Atlantic Ocean. The weather forecast doesn't include any rain for the next week. Can't believe we've been so lucky with the weather, other than the incessant headwinds. Only one bad weather day (rain, thunder, lightning) since we started.


Lynne said...

No more Margaritas. You've come a long way. We'll have to put up with you in person soon. Enjoy the home stretch.

kak said...

When Terri went to the Hale Koa she was so impressed with being surrounded by the buff military guys and guys with manners. Bill and I went to the submarine ball and had a fellow who got his dolphins (ie qualified for subs) in 1939! What a wonderful and fun group of people. Bill was thanked for his service and "paving the way". Guess he's an old fahrt now. Getting excited about your visit, even if you are a yuppie! See you soon. Luv ya, Kak

Mikey said...

Hi Nacy, you're in the home-stretch. The pics are beautiful and you have a life-time of visuals (probably some you'd like to forget). I can't wait to see the complete photo album of the ride from beginning to end but I'm sure I'll have to wait as that's probably the LAST thing you'll want to do once you get home. We miss you very much. Love, Mikey

Mikey said...

Hey Nancy, I'm sorry I haven't written in a while. Tom served his famous Poop-your-pants Chili and I just got out of the bathroom. That said, I'm running to meet you at your desitination and....oops, I'm there!!! I'm so excited you're finishing up an incredible and inspiring journey (both physically and mentally)and I'm proud of all that you've accomplished. I have a gold star waiting for you. Of course it's not real. Don't be silly! Times are tough. It was on the ground!
Love you, Mikey